Map #1 – Littleclaw, the huntstower

Introduction

This map comes from our currently running 5e campaign. The PCs actually went through here around a year ago near the start of the campaign. A lot has happened since then…I believe the PCs were 2nd or 3rd level when they arrived here. It’s a relatively slow levelling campaign as I am not particularly interested in levels above 10 anyway. The map was not quite finished when we used it but I dusted it off and finished/updated it for this post. I think I have got a lot better at mapping since then so it was nice to polish it up a little. The map is provided with the notes I made about it for the campaign, which have also been updated slightly. Changing personal campaign notes into something useful and intelligible for others (hopefully) was an interesting challenge. There is a glossary at the end for anything linked to the campaign or unusual. If you want to put it into your campaign simply edit out or adjust these elements to your game.

The image is designed for use online, I am still getting used to the whole size/resolution thing…I think its A3 (3508×4960) low dpi (72) despite its size. Maybe I could export at a higher res but I’m not sure. I can’t check if it prints well as the printer is not great and out of ink. Hopefully, it doesn’t look too bad if you do print it. I imagine the detail may get lost or get messy. The map was drawn with a XP-pen tablet and the free image software Gimp.

Setting notes: This adventure takes place in my own campaign world, which has some quirks that may not be applicable to yours. Obviously, feel free to change any elements to suit your taste. Suggestions are made at the end of the post along with the glossary.


The Map

Full Rez map – Non-commercial use for your home games only.

Player Facing Map with the room key removed is available here.


Scenario (Lvl 2-3)

Description

The wind whips up as distant shapes duck behind low clouds. In the distance, an ill-maintained guard tower sits atop a bleak looking hill with rocky sides. A small courtyard appears to house a couple of small buildings. Several stories high, the tower likely gives a good view of the surrounding countryside, forest and the foothills of the mountains. Like the town of Gallow, the tower displays slabs of red marble and elements of ancient dwarven and goblin workmanship. However, some aspects appear to be more recent repair work. A disgusting odor of pelt tanning drifts on the breeze and a stray dog traverses the nearby landscape.

Scene Colouring

Broken and decaying stonework crudely repaired, the smell of animal products and cured skins, a strange calmness

Recent Events

After petitioning the Lord of Gallow, members of the Brotherhood of the Claw obtained a writ to occupy an abandoned watch tower. From there, they hunted out into the mountains to capture Hippogriff eggs to trade back in Stok. Hippogriff eggs are worth a princely sum and Gallow saw some of that in tax. The Hunters didn’t realise the tower remained abandoned for a reason. An unsettling feeling permeated from the cellar, so they spent little time there. Sealed inside a hidden escape tunnel was a stash of ancient void eggs. The hunters sold one of these in town after misidentifying it. After changing hands several times, the egg was acquired by the traitorous High-Priest of Gallow Bondur Azkramund. He then passed the information to his master the Troglodyte sorcerer Url-Kass.

Several huntsmen had already been corrupted by Bondur and they betrayed their own with glee when asked. After waiting for some of the hunters to leave on a hunt, the traitors dispatched the watch. A troglodyte force then struck in a night raid, killing many of the huntsmen and dragging off some of the survivors. At the head of the attack force was Url-Kass himself, a huge scaled Troglodyte carrying a staff topped with a strange roiling grey and blue stone. He was everywhere at once and hypnotised many of the men before sucking the life out of them with black smokey tentacles. A smaller, hooded figure wearing a stone ring with a triangle, circle and square accompanied him and healed the injured troggs (Bondur). They turned the place over, ending in the escape tunnel and returned with something. They also took the hunters captured hippogriffs and eggs. They tested a void egg on a huntsman named Nloko who initially became subservient to them and then ill. Then they left the tower in the hands of the traitors, telling them wait for the missing hunters.

Reasons for PCs to go to the tower

  • To gain information from the Huntsmen about local wildlife
  • Found some dead Hippogriffs and investigating the cause
  • The local town of Gallow needs reinforcements and the PCs are asked to get the Hunters.
  • An NPC has requested a rare egg, animal part, Hippogriff or other item from the hunters.
  • The Huntsmen have not been seen in town for some time, Oriff the local pelt trader has asked you to check on them.
  • Tramoc and Filam, having completed their task, wish to be inducted into the huntsclan.
  • Hints about Troglodytes moving on the tower have been discovered via other means.
  • A PC has a family connection to one of the hunters or is a member of the hunts clan itself.
  • You have been asked by a member of the Brotherhood of the Claw to deliver supplies to the tower.

Approaching Littleclaw

Farther out from the tower, the PCs should encounter a hunting dog roaming wild a good distance from the tower. The faithful hound fled the tower after the attack and is very reluctant to return there. A collar on its neck is spattered with blood. This is an opportunity for the PCs to realise something is up at the tower.

The tower occupies a good vantage point between the mountains to the south and woods to the north. The PCs may be seen approaching if they are not cautious. Make perception checks (+5) for the traitor huntsmen if you deem it likely they are on watch. Should the PCs have reason to, using stealth to approach is hard but not impossible. The scrubland and foliage, cleared in the tower’s heyday, has grown dense over the years. Should the PCs be noticed, the traitorous huntsmen will not attempt to attack but rather to ascertain their business and get them to leave quickly.

Room Key

1. Woodshed

A dusty windowless wood shed filled with various shapes and sizes of firewood. There is a sizeable stockpile.

This room contains nothing of value but a faint blood stain on the floor may be visible from near the entrance (perception DC 14).

2. Courtyard

A ragged looking crudely constructed wall surrounds the eastern edge of the tower. Straw covered stables and two out buildings lie on either side of an ancient arched entrance. An acrid, slightly nauseating smell of tanning fluids and processes emanates from the right hand building. Inside the courtyard, the ground is a mixture of disturbed earth and paved stone. Various animal pelts are hung out to dry on racks. Three hunters stand conversing around the stairs up to the tower.

The three hunters are:
Andel (Bandit Captain, MM p.344)
Derin and Forth (Scouts, MM p.349)

Andel is clothed in the regalia of a full-fledged member of the Brotherhood of the Claw. Bedecked in pelts and with a beautiful cloak made of hippogriff, pheasant and other feathers. Derin and Forth are more modestly clad in scout gear with a few small feathers woven in. The traitors bear hidden tattoos of a similar design to those found on Troglodytes previously encountered by the PCs. If the PCs have approached un-noticed, they may hear the hunters discussing the following:

  • They have been told to stay put by someone (Url-Kass). They need to wait for the missing hunters to return to get rid of them as well.
  • The traitors picking on Forth.
  • They need to get more Hippogriffs and monitor Nloko for ‘signs’

Roleplaying the hunters
Andel and Derin are hard and stern. Forth is nervous and unlike the others not a traitor. During the raid, he went along with the take over due to fear. The others were converted by Bondur previous to the raid. Andel will take the lead of any conversation and try to convince the PCs that everything is ok but the lead hunter is not there right now. He will lie as little as possible and threaten if necessary. He is obviously suspicious of the PCs. The horses are not there because they have been taken by other hunters on a hunt. The dogs have been taken also.

Perception/Investigation DC 14: Faint smell of blood from the stables and damp, moved earth. The stables and kennels are conspicuously empty. There is an unusual number of flies around. The earth in the courtyard has been recently rearranged (bodies have been buried). May spy evidence of a battle. There is blood around the stables where the horses were butchered for meat by Troglodytes.

Fighting the hunters: The noise is may attract the attention of the slumbering Berserkers inside, DC 12 Perception (Disadvantage, +0). Forth will beg to be set free or attempt to flee if it seems the hunters will lose. He knows he will be executed if turned in. Andel will fight to almost the end, at which point he will offer the PCs the three Hippogriff eggs if they let him go. The hunters all have brass necklaces bearing the symbol of their Clan. Andel has a pouch containing 3gp and 6sp and a Black Stone Amulet. The amulet has a carved symbol of the Mother on it. Beyond its ability to sustain and control the mad huntsmen Calem and Kazun, it is useless and non-magical.

3. Tannery

An almost overpowering smell of urine, manure and lime assails your nostrils. Before you lies various implements and vats for butchering, tanning and curing hunted animals. Large vats are filled with steeping pelts. Various animal parts are arrayed for transport. A thin elven figure busy at a work table doesn’t appear to have registered your presence. Heavy chains are wrapped around his wrists and ankles.

Pahwar Tusova (Scout, MM p.349) a deaf, Ovchi Tanner/horsemaster. His body bears the traditional tattoo work and scarring of his people. Pahwar has been imprisoned and kept working on his craft. He saw a little of what happened during the raid but was then knocked unconscious and woke up chained in place. You can use him to give small hints about what has transpired. He presumes them dead but may ask after other hunters such as: Forth (‘a good, soft lad’), Galf (‘always had his back’), Kyu’min’dosal (‘honourable and fair’), Drun (‘a grumpy, prickly sod but worthy of respect’), he has little praise for the other traitors even though he thought of them as clansmen, he always hated Andel. He won’t begrudge the PCs taking any items that may help them excepth the Hippogriff feathers which he will needs to get to the Hundsbank.

Room Contents:

Several sacks of Hippogriff feathers, suit of Hide Armour, 2 vials of antitoxin, 1 vial of poison, a vial of acid, 5 empty glass vials, a smashed wooden symbol of Feymara, several wolf pelts, scales and weights.

4. Animal Den

You are met by warmth and the heavy smell of peat, straw and animal dung. Feathers, hair, straw and blood litter the floor around several open cages. A pair of elegant wings lie brutally shorn on the floor. Opposite the door lies a strange metal hearth with straw poking from its top.

The cells housed baby hippogriffs and other captured animals. All have been killed or taken by the Troglodytes. The clipped wings on the floor belong to a hippogriff taken by Url-kass for experiments in Chimera-craft. The stove is a crude incubator and three Hippogriff eggs are hidden under the straw at its top. Andel did not mention these to Url-Kass so he could raise the progeny or sell the eggs. The eggs are worth 100gp each, however each day outside an incubator requires a DC 12 Nature check or they will die. PCs can offload the eggs to a criminal contact (Momo in Gallow) to avoid scrutiny or attempt to offload them to the Hundsbank. Without official Huntsclan membership this will be difficult and require a DC 15 Persuasion check. If the PCs are carrying the eggs when they are outside the tower they may also provoke a Hippogriff attack (see 12, 15, 17).

5. Entrance Chamber

A giant bear skin rug lies on the floor of this wide entrance chamber. Tables, chairs, various weaponry and hunting equipment fill out the room. Two hunters appear to be slumbering on the floor, a human and a dwarf. Their bodies twitch and their eyes are not closed but rather roll wildly around in their sockets.

Calem and Kazun (Berserkers, MM p.344)

Calem (Human) and Kazun (Dwarf) are full huntsclan members. Url-Kass and Bondur had sent them disturbing magical visions through dark rituals. As a result, a bloodthirsty madness beset them the night of the raid. They will attack the PCs in a frenzy if they wake or are disturbed. If the PCs think to subdue them, they will return to semi-lucidity in 48hours, although their minds are unhinged permanently. The bloodthirsty rage will be fully triggered again if they are shown Andel’s Black Stone Amulet. Only a spell such as Greater Restoration will fully cure them.

The room contains: Longbows, knives, swords, leather workers tools, playing cards, lute, waterskins, healers kits, nets, hunting trap and a few sets of studded leather armour. 

6. Eastern Tower – Ground Floor

The door to this room appears to be locked. Wooden bars have also been placed across it. Through the small, empty window, a sweaty Ngoka huntsman is visible with shackles on his feet and hands. The white marble floor is covered in dwarvish rune work. On the floor, what looks like shards of black glass or obsidian glints in the light.

The door is heavy and will require serious force to break down. The wooden bars are easily removed but the lock is solid, DC 14. The runes on the floor are in an ancient dwarvish dialect not easily read even by those who speak Dwarvish. PCs who speak Dwarvish may make a Wisdom or Intelligence check to attempt to parse their meaning, DC 12. The small curved black shards of polished stone on the floor are remnants of a Void Egg. PCs may make an Intelligence or Wisdom check DC 15 to ascertain the original shape was that of an egg.

The chained figure is Nloko, an Ngoka huntsman who has been impregnated by a void egg. He is gagged and passed out. Nloko will remark on not feeling well, being starving and mutter about a gleaming black egg. Perception DC 12 to notice a strange blackness in his eyes that comes and goes. A Medicine check DC 12 will also work and reveal a strange patch of discoloured skin around his heart. Nloko’s body and soul are trying to resist the Void Egg. However, eventually he will die as its contents burst out of him leaving a bottomless black hole in his chest. This should occur at an unexpected time. The creature that bursts out is a Child of the Mother (Slithering tracker, VGtM p.191) with the following additional ability:
Refuse to See. The mind refuses to acknowledge the unnatural presence of this creature. When an enemy creature starts its turn within 30 feet of the Child of the Mother, it must make a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, the creature is immune to Refuse to See for 24 hours. On a failed save, the creature becomes Blinded for 1 minute. At the end of each of the blinded creature’s turns, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success.

7. Kitchen

A crudely stocked kitchen replete with an ancient metal stove and various provisions. Cured meats hang from hooks in the walls. An odd but enticing smell emanates from a stew on the stovetop.

The room contains various food stuffs and preparation tools such as cleavers but not much else of note. Various lumps of meat, mushrooms and a bundle of herbs bob in the simmering stew. Nature Check DC 12 – horse meat, humanoid meat, herbs and mushrooms known to cause madness. If a PC decides to taste the stew they must make a Constitution Saving Throw DC 10. If they fail they are afflicted by a moment of berserk rage and lash out at the nearest creature. Alternatively, you may have them be poisoned for d10 minutes.

The room contains various foodstuffs equivalent to 10 days of rations.

8. Cellar

A foul stench exudes from the bottom of the stairs. An unusual curved wall marks the bottom of the western tower. Behind it lies a befouled stone altar. An ancient grime covered mosaic takes up the entirety of the wall opposite the staircase.

The foul stench emanating from the cellar indicates the presence of troglodytes. The cellar is pitch black and the defiled altar suppresses natural bright light down to dim light e.g. from a torch within 15 feet.

1 Troglodyte Emissary, 1 Troglodyte (MM 290) and a Giant Lizard (MM.326).

If these have heard the PCs activities upstairs, they will prepare to ambush them from hiding. They stayed behind to further interrogate the human huntsman Avilth, deconsecrate the altar and to try and reveal any further secrets in the cellar. Unfortunately, Avilth did not know about the hidden shrine and has expired from torture.

Avilth’s body lies on a broken red marble altar. Previously, a Shrine to Feymara it has been desecrated and scrawled on in Deep Speech. A large symbol of the Mother and the words ‘Url-Kass watches’ in Trogolodyte are splattered on the walls in blood. The altar appears to dim light around it.

Investigation DC 12 will reveal the Escape Tunnel entrance, marked by bloody foot prints that end at the southern wall. A small button on the desecrated shrine opens the hidden door.

The west side of the middle wall features a grime laden mosaic. Gold-trimmed imagery and inscriptions are visible under the dirt. This is a puzzle that when completed will reveal the hidden shrine on the other side. The PCs must read the inscription and push the buttons in the order their colours are mentioned in the poem. If the mosaic is cleaned it will reveal: A painted image of five landscapes, each associated with a Roiling Stone: Swamp, Mountain, Field, Wood and River and Lake. Below each landscape is a vividly coloured button of Grey, Brown, Yellow, Green and Blue respectively. A beautifully carved inscription in side by side dwarvish and goblinoid reads:

‘Five greater were hewn by dwarven hands, 
blessed by the fey lord of five lands.
One for each of his lands were they:
Brown, Blue, Yellow, Green and Grey.
Five lesser were sang by Goblins to life, 
should finding be needed in ages of strife, 
Bring the greater to where the lord stays
Brown, Blue, Yellow, Green and Grey
The lord keeps the lands,
And we the keep the stones safe
Golvor and Gobhlin’

A dwarf will recognise that the poem is unfinished due to its form. Traditionally this form is used for historical epics and would contain many more verses.

9. Hidden Shrine

The shifting walls reveal a hidden room, the air and surfaces laden with dust. Another grime laden mosaic covers the western wall and opposite stand heavy suits of armour around a shrine. Atop the altar lie various curios.

Five suits of Animated Armour (MM p.19), protect this room. Each has a dwarven runic symbol on their chestplate that corresponds to a different landscape: Mountain, River and Lake, Field, Forest, Swamp. They will take time to register the presence of the PCs and reanimate as they are old. If anyone shows a Guidestone to them they will cease and reset their positions.

On the eastern side of the middle wall, is a grime laden mosaic of the Black Unicorn with five large coloured stones around him.

The hidden shrine under the eastern tower is dedicated to goblinoid ancestor spirits and has a powerful connection to the ethereal. Like the suits of Animated Armour, it is also marked with the runic symbols of the five landscapes. An inscription in Goblin dedicates the altar to Triskin-Tan, a goblin ancestor who fought against the Void entity known as ‘The Mother’. On top of the altar is:

  • A pile of 20 gp and 20 sp
  • A small Stone Idol of Triskan-Tan worth 1gp or 50gp to a Goblin. A DC 15 Religion Check will reveal that such idols sometimes contain soul fragments of the ancestor that can be communed with.
  • A ‘Blink Stone’ – A stone cylinder carved with arcane runes that allows limited casts of a spell by non-magic users. This stone allows for two casts of the spell Blink before it crumbles to dust. After one use the stone will crumble to half its size. Arcana DC 12 to identify the spell.
  • The Guidestone of the Woods (Green and White) is hidden in a compartment under the Altar. The PCs should find this without needing to roll investigation.

10. Escape Tunnel

A hidden door, flush to the wall, gives way to reveal a deep tunnel cut into the earth. Heavy stone supports give way to more recent wooden struts. A dead huntsman lies face down in the tunnel, thick arrows protruding from his back.

Originally an escape route out of the tower in-case of attack. One wall has been tunnelled into where Url-kass excavated the Void Eggs from under the goblin altar. The dead huntsman here was shot in the back as he fled out the tunnel.

At the newly excavated tunnel east, a Trogg corpse lies burned to a crisp in a blackened tunnel. A spent Glyph of Warding faintly pulses on the floor. Inside this tunnel lies an open stone sarcophagus with 18 egg shaped holes inside. Hidden here in ancient times as destroying the eggs was difficult. The sarcophagus has words written around the edge in deep speech: ‘the mother’s foul children’. These words hurt to look at and glow with void energy that seems to absorb light: DC 12 Wisdom Save or take d6 psychic damage and suffer visions of black snakes writhing over the world. Goblin runes carved on top of the deep speech originally sealed the sarcophagus shut. Url-kass opened it with foul magic.

11. Bunkroom

Before you lies what must be the huntsclan’s bunk room. A number of bedrolls and personal effects lie strewn around the floor. Several bags and chests appear to have been rifled through, their contents spilled around.

Significant valuables appear to have been taken already, presumably by the traitors. What is left are: adventuring provisions, backpacks, buckets, chains, a crowbar, mess kits, 2 flasks of oil and various odds and ends.

12. Roof – first floor

A hard stone floor and a cool breeze meet you as you set foot out onto the first floor roof.Broken crenelations suggest that, in days past, this tower provided a strong defence against this approach to the town.

If PCs set up watch here or stay for a time watching the surrounding countryside, they have a good chance of gaining a hint about any encounters due to take place on their return journey to town.

Hippogriffs are circling the tower. They have been attracted by their captive kin and eggs. The Hippogriffs may attack any PCs here, roll a d6, on a 1 they attempt to dive and attack. If a PC is carrying a Hippogriff egg/s, they will attack on a 1-4.

13. Meditation Chamber

A large mamran man in bloodstained hunter’s garb groans slightly and twitches in a feverish sleep below. A giant goblinoid Triumvirate is inset into the stone floor. Surrounding it are several braziers. The walls are covered in runic inscriptions.

A Beserker Mamra Huntsman named Galf is passed out, he speaks Draconic and fought Troggs before: ‘at least the mountain men respect strength and honourable combat. The Troglodytes respect little at all.’ This room was previously used for meditations and astral projections of goblinoid wizards. The walls contain various script concerned with the mind and its abilities. Amongst these is the following inscription that provides a clue for the basement:

They who hold one lesser stone
May open the way to the Ancient’s Altar 
Find the order of the lands 
In poetic words
Show the stone and show respect
To the guardians.

14. Head Huntsman’s Office

This room is better furnished than the others. A beautiful Clanweave rug lies on the floor, on top of which is the bloody body of a red skinned Kadalaki. In her hands she clutches a black steel mace and an ornate looking pendant.

The door to this room is locked, DC 15. This is the Office of the Head Huntsman: Kyu’mon’dosal. She managed to fight her way free to her office and lock the door but succumbed to her injuries quickly after. The items in her hands are an Adamantine Mace and a Jeweled Pendant of Feymara (worth 20gp). Her desk drawer contains documents on monster habitats and current prices of various monster parts. Trapped poison dart chest with dead trogg beside it. Chest contains 50gp and a scroll of Purify Food and Drink. Notes written by him remark on the strange behaviour of several of the huntsmen. They also mention the finding of Andel’s religious proclivities, spending a great deal of time at church in Gallow, even when he was supposed to return quickly after the latest sale. He also displayed a keen interest in the stone tablet they found when they arrived. He kept reciting the lines from it as if trying to memorise them. I gave him a copy of the runes to take to town to get translated but he claimed it was nonsense and no-one could translate it.

15. Roof – Second Floor

A crenelated wall stretches around the edge of this second floor roof. By the north eastern corner lies the remains of wooden bridge. On the tower wall opposite lies a heavy wooden door with several arrows embedded in it.

There was originally a wooden bridge between the parapet at 15 and room 16. This was destroyed by Drun Merryhammer as he fled pursuit by Url-kass’ forces. The door opposite is made from heavy, magical, wood that is shaped flush to the tower. Whilst not locked, the door can only be opened with a password. Due to the bridge’s destruction and the door’s nature, Url-Kass’ forces were unable to gain entry. They presumed Drun dead from his injuries and or starvation/thirst. However, the tough old dwarf is still alive.

Hippogriffs are circling the tower. They have been attracted by their captive kin and eggs. The Hippogriffs may attack any PCs here, roll a d6, on a 1 they attempt to dive and attack. If a PC is carrying a Hippogriff egg/s, they will attack on a 1-4.

16. Secondman Drun’s Room

Drun Merryhammer is fortified inside this room. Drun is a grizzled, older Dwarf who is missing an eye, leg and several fingers on each hand. He is armed with a crossbow that he has pointed at the door, which he will fire at anyone opening it unannounced. However, there is a 50/50 chance he is sleeping off his injuries if the PCs do so quietly. Drun was pursued into the tower by Galf, who was in a frenzied and charmed state, before he managed to close the door. He knocked Galf down to the meditation chamber (13), pulled up the ladder, closed and locked the door. Despite taking quite serious injuries in the fight for the tower, field medicine, grit and the emergency stash of potions has let him pull through. He is still quite the worse for wear.

Gave over the leadership to Kyu’mon’dosal after he sustained the injury that took his leg and placed his hunting days behind him. Drun is effectively in charge again since Kyu’mon’dosal is dead (he doesn’t know this yet). He speaks some draconic and understood a little of what the Troglodytes said during the raid and afterwards. He saw the events and will narrate them to the PCs if he trusts them. However, Drun never went into Gallow and did not recognise Bondur.

Drun will offer up the remaining Healing Potion if he trusts the PCs. Worked out that the puzzle in the basement was connected to an inscription in the meditation chamber. He will be happy to accept Tramoc and Filam in the clan as their numbers now need bolstered. He may offer to induct PCs into the Brotherhood of the Claw. If any accept, he gives them marks/scars/medallions of the Brotherhood of the Claw. You can use Drun as a quest giver for hunt related quests.

17. Roof – Top Floor

From this high vantage point you get an excellent view of the surrounding countryside.

The top floor roof provides ample opportunities to see oncoming threats. Hippogriffs are circling the tower. They have been attracted by their captive kin and eggs. The Hippogriffs may attack any PCs here, roll a d6, on a 1 they attempt to dive and attack. If a PC is carrying a Hippogriff egg/s, they will attack on a 1-4.


Glossary and Substitutions

The above scenario contains various terms related to a broader campaign and setting. Below you will find brief descriptions of what these are and suggested substitutions. For any other fluff not explicitly mentioned, just take it out and you should have a generic investigate the tower quest.

Bondur Azkramund – Dwarven High Priest of the Town of Gallow and covertly a worshipper of the void entity known as The Mother. In league with Url-Kass and a member of Clan Blodrail a fallen deep dwarf clan. Substitution: Just don’t mention him or make him a henchman of you BBEG

Black Unicorn – The Avatar of the Roiling Stone of River and Lake. Bonded to the Lord of Gallow by tradition and ultimate Lord of all the stones. Url-kass seeks ultimately to kill the Black Unicorn to break his protection over the lands. Each roiling stone that is damaged or destroyed weakens him.

Brotherhood of the Claw – A local huntsclan and one of the lower tier of huntsclans more generally. Known to specialise in capture and hunting of winged creatures.

Feymara – The goddess of the Hunt, woods and the wilds. Known as the Widow due to the death of her husband. Traditionally, Kings and Queens were symbolically wed to her. Still worshipped by hunters and arboreal cultures. Substitution: change this to a god important to a PC so they can encounter a defiled altar for anger.

Gallow – The local town and focal point of many campaign events. It sits around 40 miles south of the western edge of the Wormroad, a great trade route. Substitution: whatever your PCs’ main base of operations is

Goblinoids – In this world Goblins, Orcs and Hobgoblins form a triumvirate of related peoples. They are not inherently evil and goblins have ancient bonds to dwarves. All three races are intimately connected to the ethereal plane, experience reincarnation and often worship ancestors rather than gods. Substitution: Dwarves or Gnomes or just have the tower built by an old culture. You may need to adjust the poetic inscription slightly.

Guidestone – Each roiling stone has an associated smaller stone held on a necklace. They provide minor magical powers and function as keys or wards in some areas.

Huntsclan – Incorporated group of hunters. Most Huntsclans have a presence in Stok, the largest city to the west. The clans form a parallel power structure to the military there and ostensibly share power with them.

Kadalaki – One of the animal peoples found in the world. They somewhat resemble anthropomorphic lizards. This worlds equivalent to lizardmen.

Mamra – One of the animal peoples found in the world. They somewhat resemble anthropomorphic buffalos. They are this world’s equivalent of Half-Orcs.

The Mother – One of the terrible entities from outside the world feared and hated by evil and good gods. Akin to a lovecraftian entity who has previously menaced the material world. The Mother is associated with Mindflayers (her first offspring) and Children of the Mother (slithering trackers, her second offspring). Substitution: easy change to an evil god or figure from history like a slumbering Lich

Momo – A member of the powerful Longshadow Family. An ancient criminal syndicate based in Stok. He is based in Gallow and is their representative there.

Ngoka – One of the animal peoples found in the world. They somewhat resemble anthropomorphic frogs or toads. Their life spans are considerably longer than humans.

Ovchi – Plains elves more numerous to the south in the middle of the continent. Known for their mastery of horses and horse riding. Often found in Stok trading horses and competing in equestrian games.

Roiling Stone – The key artefacts of the campaign. Five stones were created in the deep past to reinforce the surrounding lands against intrusion from the Void. Each elemental stone is associated with one of the landscapes around Gallow. Url-kass seeks to control or destroy these to hasten the assault of the Mother upon this world. Each stone has an associated immortal avatar who is reponsible for protecting it. Substitution: Your McGuffins or a minor magical item reward in the case of the guide stone. Guidestone’s main function here is simply to stop the animated armour. They have broader uses in the campaign but that is not so relevant. You could have PCs find a command word for the armour or make it a prayer to an important god.

Stok – Large city of hunters and trade hub around 120 miles as the crow flies from Gallow. Maintains some control over the trade on the Wormroad.

Tramoc and Filam – Two would be hunters who suffered a mishap on their initiation hunt to Spider Plunge Cavern earlier in the campaign.

Troglodytes – Easily substituted for any other species, villains or nearby threat

Url-Kass – Troglodyte sorcerer and dark prophet. Worshipper of and blessed by the Mother. Seeks to lay claim to all the lands south of the Wormroad, although his ambition is endless. Substitution: A BBEG or one of his henchmen. The PCs should get a vague idea of his capabilities from the accounts of his appearance. In the case above they also find out that he already possesses one of the Roiling Stones.

Void Egg – An ancient blackstone, crystalline egg. They supposedly fell to earth as meterorites. Each contains the essence of Child of the Mother which must be implanted in a host to hatch. This process nearly always kills the host. Substitution: Similar monster egg or treasure item, could contain trapped spirits of evil doers. If you dont want to use them as here consider making Nloko simply mind controlled instead.

Conclusion

That’s it! I hope you enjoy this write up and/or the map. I would love to hear from you if you use the map and how you used it or your players played it. If you have any constructive criticism or queries about the map or the scenario I am also open to those. Keep on adventuring!



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